How to Clean a Rabbit Cage (Safe and Effective Systems)

How to Clean a Rabbit Cage
How to Clean a Rabbit Cage

Over time, your rabbit’s cage will get dirty just by being lived in. Accidents can also happen, making the cage dirty even quicker. It’s important to know how to clean your rabbit’s cage so that you can keep your rabbit happy and healthy.

How should I clean my rabbit’s cage? Use rabbit-safe chemicals to wipe down any dirty surfaces and remove trash or uneaten food, as well as emptying litter boxes.


How Often Should I Clean a Rabbit Cage?

Rabbit cages require almost constant maintenance. Different parts of the habitat will need care at different intervals, and larger cages will need more care than smaller ones. You should be at least picking up and maintaining the cage on a daily basis, while other tasks can be done weekly, monthly, or as needed. Used toys, debris from chewing (such as bedding, plastic, or wood), spoiled food, and any waste outside of the litter box should be cleaned up as you see it. These are the most urgent matters you should address and typically shouldn’t wait until your next regular cleaning. If you notice blood in your rabbit’s cage, you should check your rabbit for injuries first before cleaning, as your rabbit may be seriously hurt.

What Parts of a Rabbit Cage Should I Clean Every Day?

Daily maintenance is an important part of keeping your rabbit’s habitat clean and under control. If you’re not picking up on a daily basis, you run the risk of your rabbit getting sick and you make things more difficult for yourself when you finally do get around to cleaning.

The most important things to keep fresh every day are your rabbit’s food and your rabbit’s litter box. You should always remove old, uneaten hay from your rabbit’s food dish to keep it from getting sick due to dusty hay. You should also clean out the water bottle or bowl and fill it with fresh water. It’s important not to just replace the water but also make sure the bottle is wiped clean of any dust or debris.

You should also be cleaning out your rabbit’s litter box every day and looking for messes outside the box. You should scoop out any feces or used litter and replace the hay just like you do with your rabbit’s food dish. The litter box will be the main source of any odor coming from your rabbit’s cage, so it’s important to keep it extra clean.

What Parts of a Rabbit Cage Should I Clean Every Week?

Some parts of your rabbit’s cage can be cleaned less often, but the weekly cleaning will usually be more intensive and thorough than your daily cleanings. You should clean the entire cage and everything in it on a weekly basis, and more frequently if your rabbit gets sick, isn’t spayed or neutered, or has trouble using the litter box. Important items to clean are floors and bedding, as well as places like the floor or your rabbit’s favorite spot to hang out.

Because rabbits often chew on their toys, it’s best to clean them only using water and dish soap. Make sure you rinse them completely before returning them to the cage. You may need to scrub to get rid of saliva, dirt, or grime. Toys made of paper or cardboard don’t need to be washed but should be replaced regularly.

You’ll want to wash your rabbit’s cloth bedding every week and replace any paper bedding as well. It’s a good idea to keep more than one set of bedding handy to make this process easier and in case any emergencies happen. Bedding can be washed normally in a washing machine.

You should wipe down anywhere your rabbit has been to get rid of hair, dust, or waste particles. It’s a good idea to clean the entire floor, but you should definitely clean anywhere your rabbit spends a significant amount of time. You may also choose to wipe down the sides of the cage, especially if your rabbit has been sick.

Can I Clean a Rabbit Cage with Bleach?

Yes, you can clean a rabbit cage with very small amounts of very diluted bleach as long as you rinse them thoroughly. Bleach is a good tool to get rid of bacteria that waste and other sources may carry, and if you have a cage made of NIC panels or any other type of cage that comes apart, you can soak them in the bleach solution to clean the entire cage. You should only use a ratio of 1 to 10 when making your bleach solution, and you shouldn’t add any other chemicals. Allow the parts of the cage to soak for about 30 minutes and then rinse them completely and dry them. You may choose to rinse them more than once if your rabbit has a tendency to chew on the floor or bars of its cage.

You shouldn’t use bleach or other disinfectants on any wooden toys or portions of the cage because untreated wood will soak up the chemicals. Treated wood is not safe for rabbits, so all wooden parts and toys should be untreated. Disinfectants other than diluted bleach should be avoided due to the variety of chemicals in them that may harm your rabbit.

What to Clean a Rabbit Cage With

The best option to clean a rabbit cage is simply warm water and vinegar. The vinegar cleans up the calcium deposits left by rabbit urine, and the warm water will wipe up most messes and any dust or dirt in the cage. You can use this solution on everything in the cage including toys and litter boxes. Mix together a solution of one part vinegar to one part water and use it anywhere in the cage. This solution works best because it won’t harm your rabbit and it’s mostly odor-free, which will keep your rabbit from becoming disoriented when you put it back in the cage.

Don’t use disinfectants such as Clorox or Lysol to clean the cage or any items your rabbit comes into contact with. These contain many chemicals that are unsafe for your rabbit due to both fumes and the risk of ingestion. Stick to a very diluted bleach solution or the suggested vinegar and water solution to keep your rabbit safe.

Should I Clean a Rabbit Cage with Babies in It?

If the babies have just been born and the cage is reasonably clean, you should avoid cleaning the cage for a few days. When it is time to clean, remove the mother gently but don’t move or remove the babies or nest. Clean around the nest using only warm water and no chemicals. Baby rabbits are incredibly sensitive and could suffocate if any chemical fumes get into the cage. Don’t handle the babies and don’t change the bedding so that the mother is more comfortable coming back to the nest and caring for them. When you’re done, put the mother back and watch carefully to make sure she goes back to the babies at her usual time.

Should I Take My Rabbit Out of Its Cage When Cleaning?

Yes, it’s a good idea to remove your rabbit completely from the room while cleaning its cage. It helps to have a clear space without your rabbit underfoot, and it’s easier to be able to set spray bottles down or leave the cage door open without worrying about what your rabbit is doing. If you have a second enclosure, you can put your rabbit in there, or let your rabbit free roam while someone else supervises them and you clean.

It’s especially good to remove territorial rabbits or rabbits that have not been spayed or neutered because they may become aggressive or upset if they are in or near the cage when you begin cleaning. It’s best to get your rabbit completely out of sight of the cage in this situation. Once you are done cleaning, simply put your rabbit back into the cag.e

Can I Use Essential Oils to Clean a Rabbit Cage?

Never use essential or herbal oils to clean a rabbit’s cage. While some herbal oils such as mint or basil may not be harmful to a rabbit in very small quantities, it’s not safe to use them in cleaning. The very high concentrations of chemicals in essential oils can be harmful to rabbits if ingested or if the fumes are inhaled. Some especially bad oils include:

  • Tea tree oil
  • Clove oil
  • Wintergreen oil
  • Anise oil

Don’t mix essential oils into your cleaning supplies or spread them around the cage to try to make it smell better. This will also mess with your rabbit’s comfort level in the cage because rabbits draw comfort from smells. If the cage stops smelling like them or smells like something that makes them uncomfortable, they will become unhappy and even sick. It’s best to use unscented materials when cleaning a rabbit cage.

How to Make a Rabbit Cage Smell Good

Rabbits don’t have a strong odor unless they are sick or especially dirty, so the best way to keep your rabbit’s cage from smelling is to keep it clean! It’s not a good idea to use air fresheners or chemicals to spray the cage and give it a certain smell, but simply by cleaning regularly and making sure your rabbit is healthy, you can keep most smells at bay. Hay will always have an odor, but it’s not necessarily a bad one and it’s very mild so you should get used to it.

The main area to tackle is the litter box, as rabbit urine does have a faint odor. If your rabbit’s feces smells bad, this is a sign of health issues and you should consult a vet. Don’t let urine build up and scoop the litter box at least once a day and clean it completely once every few days. This should cut down on the smell significantly.

You should also clean bedding regularly and replace any paper bedding especially if you notice that it starts to smell. You can get away with only replacing paper bedding once a week or so and washing cloth bedding about that often as well. However, if you are noticing a buildup of odor more frequently than that, you’ll need to adjust your cleaning schedule.

What If I Don’t Clean My Rabbit’s Cage?

The least serious consequence of not cleaning your rabbit’s cage is that you will definitely build up a bad smell in your house. While clean rabbits and healthy feces don’t have an odor, urine buildup and the buildup of odor from scent glands can cause an odor over time.

A dirty cage can also breed all sorts of bacteria and can get your rabbit seriously sick. Dusty or dirty hay can give your rabbit digestive issues if eaten and respiratory issues such as infections if inhaled, and spoiled food can cause diarrhea. If your rabbit’s bedding gets dirty with waste or discharge from its scent glands, the bedding can become a breeding ground for maggots and even lead to flystrike, a condition in which flies lay eggs on the rabbit and maggots burrow into its skin. It’s important to be proactive and clean thoroughly.

Related Questions

How do you clean a rabbit’s litter box? You should scoop out feces and used litter daily. To thoroughly clean the litter box, remove all the litter and hay and spray the box with warm water and vinegar to remove any buildup.

Should I clean a rabbit’s cage after it dies? Yes, especially if you plan on putting another animal in that cage. Make sure to remove the body quickly and then clean all surfaces in the cage if it’s possible your rabbit was sick.

Should I wash my rabbit? No. Rabbits shouldn’t be immersed in water or gotten wet. Instead, brush their fur gently. If your rabbit gets dirty, wipe off any debris with a damp cloth.